Letting samonela infected meat legally in the US

I think that I have posted a similar article but I will include it again for those who did not read it the first time, and for those who want to let this news sink in a bit more.  The corruption in our government is mind boggling at times.  I strongly urge all of you to avoid normal meat as much as you possibly can.  Try to eat only organic meat, preferably from a source that you can trust.

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The USDA Says It’s OK to Sell You Tainted Meat

By Alice Wessendorfon 08/29/2011

I want to share a couple of statistics with you. But before I do, I’ll issue a little warning…you may never be able to look a turkey burger in quite the same way again.

According to the feds, at least 10 to 15 percent of ground turkey is contaminated with salmonella.

Ready for another one?

Three-quarters of the salmonella found in that contaminated turkey meat is antibiotic-resistant.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how the bacteria ended up that way… right?

Ding, ding…yes, you guessed correctly! That’s right, the factory-farming practice of dosing its livestock up on antibiotics has given birth to new breeds of bacteria that are now resistant to the very drugs developed to combat them.

Just how widespread is this practice? At the end of last year, the FDA finally released the shocking figures. It turns out that 29 million pounds of antibiotics were fed to our food supply in 2009 alone.

In fact, it’s estimated that more than 70% of the antibiotics sold in the United States are being used on cows, pigs, and chickens that aren’t even sick. They’re being used simply to fatten the animals up and to ward off the effects of the unsanitary conditions typically found on the factory farms where the animals are forced to live out their short cramped lives.

So, let’s recap. The factory-farming industry insists on continuing to follow a dangerous practice that has led to the birth of drug-resistant bacteria that contaminate our food supply, can make us very sick, and, in the worst-case scenario, may even kill us.

So what’s the U.S. Department of Agriculture doing about it?

Hold on to your hat. That would be essentially a whole lot of nothing.

You may recall that earlier this month Cargill, a giant meat processor in the United States, issued a recall on 36 million (yes, million) pounds of ground-turkey products after they were linked to salmonella contamination. At last count at least 79 people had become ill and one had died.

In fact Bill Tomson of the Wall Street Journal reported that during a routine inspection of the plant last year, inspectors found three samples of meat contaminated with the same antibiotic-resistant bacteria…known as salmonella Heidelberg…that was ultimately linked to the illnesses and death that finally prompted the recall.

Yep, that’s right, the USDA was aware of the salmonella contamination well before people started getting sick. Yet nothing was done about it beyond informing Cargill’s management of the findings.

Bet you’re asking “why?” about now. I wondered too. It turns out that selling salmonella-contaminated meat, including the varieties that are contaminated with antibiotic-resistant strains of the bug, is not technically against the law.

Yes, it looks like talking turkey has taken on a whole new stomach-churning meaning and no, sadly, I’m not kidding.

In fact, the USDA simply acknowledges that ground poultry is highly contaminated and encourages us to cook meat thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, and assures us that we’ll then be just fine. And if the lag before a recall of the Cargill meat is anything to judge by, apparently the agency is really only interested in issuing a recall only after the products have made people sick.

So as Big Farming execs continue to play Russian roulette with our health with little to no incentive to change their dangerous ways, my advice is the same as always. Make a commitment TODAY to no longer support this industry until it makes some radical changes.

Thankfully, organic and sustainable farming is on the rise and it’s easier than ever to find these foods at your local supermarket or farmers’ market. To find locally grown and sustainable food in your area, try www.localharvest.org and to locate pasture-based farms or ranches, try Eatwild’s Directory of Farms.

Related articles of interest:

Is Antibiotic Resistance Crawling Into a Home Near You?

Is There an Antibiotic-free Dinner Table in Our Future?

Steak with a heaping side of antibiotic resistance

References:

“2009 SUMMARY REPORT on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals, Food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services,” fda.gov

“Investigation Announcement: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Heidelberg Infections,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, August 1, 2011

“USDA Fact Sheet: Salmonella Questions and Answers,” United States Department of Agriculture, fsis.usda.gov

“Progress Report on Salmonella Testing of Raw Meat and Poultry Products, 1998-20101,” United States Department of Agriculture, fsis.usda.gov

“Government Knew About Bacteria in Turkey,” WSJ, August 10,2011

“Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock,” Union of Concerned Scientists, ucsusa.org

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